Home Forward provides housing solutions for those who cannot afford market-rate housing. As one of the top performing housing authorities in the country, Home Forward is an independent public corporation established in 1941 by the City of Portland. In 1992, Home Forward’s jurisdiction was expanded to include all of Multnomah County. A nine-member volunteer Board of Commissioners appointed by City of Portland, the City of Gresham, and Multnomah County and confirmed by the Portland City Council governs Home Forward.
Home Forward has an annual budget of $198 million and serves 15,000 households. It is the largest provider of affordable housing in Oregon, with more than 6,300 apartments in its portfolio. The agency administers a variety of rent assistance programs, including 8,900 Housing Choice Vouchers and a short-term rent assistance program that consolidates funding from several different sources and provides assistance through 19 social service partners. The agency also is a major developer of affordable housing, with three HOPE VI redevelopments, a multi-use center for the homeless, and a variety of apartment buildings among its projects. As a housing authority with Moving to Work deregulation flexibility, Home Forward can pursue a variety of program innovations to increase housing choices and efficiency and help its residents achieve economic independence. Home Forward has over 300 employees, as well as partnerships with more than 100 community organizations.
The Board of Commissioners is seeking a candidate with exceptional leadership qualities to lead an executive team in a complex organization comprised of experts in all of the operational, technical, regulatory, and financial aspects of public housing. The Executive Director is the chief operating officer for Home Forward, reports to, and serves as the senior advisor to the Board of Commissioners in the implementation of the agency’s vision, mission, strategies, policies, and operational objectives, and guides its evolution toward becoming a diverse, anti-racist, equitable and inclusive organization. The Executive Director advises the Board of all developments affecting Home Forward programs and operations and prepares reports of information and documents necessary for Board deliberations. The Executive Director provides overall direction for the strategic, programmatic, development, asset management and preservation, and financial performance goals for the agency and is responsible for achieving these objectives by attracting, developing, managing, and retaining an effective, diverse workforce.
The Executive Director works closely with the Deputy Executive Directors to plan, direct, and coordinate the ongoing work of the agency which includes ensuring financial stability of the agency through HUD funding, developing new avenues of revenue generation consistent with program mandates, and overseeing the development and administration of the agency budget. The Executive Director is also responsible for fostering cooperation and partnerships among a congeries of external constituencies and stakeholders, including federal, state, and local government officials; private and non-profit agencies; jurisdictional partners; housing clientele; and the community as a whole. The Executive Director conducts presentations to the Board of Commissioners, community organizations, and other interested groups regarding Home Forward programs, policies, and activities. The Executive Director attends and participates in professional group meetings in order to stay abreast of trends and innovations in the fields of public and affordable housing, management, and public administration. Among other related duties and responsibilities, the Executive Director provides direction to correct issues and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquires and complaints.
The Ideal Candidate: Experience, Qualifications and Education
In addition to demonstrated administrative and managerial experience in managing large multi-functional organizations such as Home Forward, the ideal candidate must possess excellent interpersonal skills and be an effective communicator to a diversity of audiences. The candidate must be diplomatic, collaborative and politically savvy, and knowledgeable about housing industry trends and the social, economic, health and support needs of low-income housing populations and their communities, history of housing discrimination and displacement and racial disparities in access to housing and public services, and a commitment to racial equity and accountability for past community harm, including, trustworthiness, integrity, openness to change, and the ability to apply an intersectional racial equity analysis to complex issues.
- Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, or related field is preferred.
- Master’s in Public Administration or related field preferred.
- Ten years of increasingly responsible experience in senior level management in public, private and/or non-profit sector.
- May consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferrable skills as qualifying.
The salary for the Executive Director is competitive and open, depending upon qualifications. In addition to a competitive salary, Home Forward includes an excellent benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)/Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP), deferred compensation, vacation and sick leave, life and accidental death insurance, flexible benefit plans for medical, dependent care and transit reimbursement.